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Manizales is a city and municipality in central Colombia, capital of Department of Caldas and part of the region of Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis, near the Nevado del Ruiz volcano. Nowadays the city is the main center for the production of Colombian coffee and an important hub for higher educational institutions. Manizales is the capital city of one of the smallest Colombian departments. The city is described as having "abrupt topography"; it is built in a mountain region with a number of ridgelines and steep slopes. Combined with the seismic instability of the area, this has required architectural adaptations and public works to make the city safer. Even though Manizales has a very difficult topography, there are many coffee plantations in these fertile lands. The city is located in the north of the Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis ("Eje Cafetero"), near the volcano Nevado del Ruiz, which has an altitude of about 5,321 meters. It is in the basin of the Rio Chinchiná and subbasin of the Guacaica River. Natural threats are earthquakes, mud slides, and volcanic eruptions.
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